Severe Mercy

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woven the “perfect” words together for my first Severe Mercy blog. I write one day only to delete it the next. I have many well thought out descriptions of mercy; what it is, what it’s not, why we long for it, why we offer it and why it’s mysteriously rejected by some. Speaking of someone who rejected mercy, check out this video clip from Les Miserables:

If you have seen the movie Les Miserables then you know what is happening in this scene. You know that both men are guilty of their respective sins, yet only one of them willingly received mercy from a merciful God. The man who committed suicide could not “let himself off his own lawful hook,” though God was willing to let him off His hook if He would only receive the truth that Jesus already died for him.


As I type, I am sitting in a home I work at every other weekend that provides shelter and resources for unwed, expectant mothers. The home is simply beautiful. Those who worked on and donated funds to give birth to this vision spared no expense in creating an atmosphere of elegance. It will no doubt ignite new dreams in the heart of the women who live here.

I know it is for “Debbie.”

Debbie is quickly becoming my friend. Though we come from different backgrounds and have different stories, we have discovered we are heading for the same destination. And for a time, we are going to walk together and learn from one another.

Yes, it’s true, I know more than Debbie about God, the Bible, church and all those really important topics. I suppose you could say I will teach her a few facts about spiritual matters….and about being a mother. But more than anything, we laugh together, cry together and learn from one another.

You see, Debbie is on a painful journey that’s her story to share someday. She doesn’t feel she deserves to be in place that’s so beautiful, with a refrigerator stocked with food, like steak and name-brand juice. What she use to expect, she now humbly thanks God for. It’s so clear to me……..

Debbie is being transformed by the power of mercy!

It’s the moment you realize that although you deserve to be kicked out on the street, you instead have been given a warm bed, food on the table and the best part- you share it with those who love you.

It’s when you look around and deep down you know what is being offered to you is a gift you did not earn but would be a fool to reject.

This is the gospel.

My friend is learning about the love of her Heavenly Father, not in word only but in tangible acts of mercy. Until we understand what mercy can do, we might be tempted to think these women do not deserve a home this beautiful. We might say………

“But what about this or what about that…… what if they’ve already been given 100 chances?” To that I say,

Who cares!

They are worth the risk……just like we all are.

Jesus went to the Cross knowing people would reject Him, trample on His precious blood and refuse to receive His mercy. He had already been betrayed by those He loved and spit on by those who hated Him…..but it didn’t stop Him from making a way of hope for those who would see and receive His offer of a new life.

I am not just talking about hand-outs here. I am talking about love.

Not the kind of love void of truth but the kind that’s wrapped in the truth of God’s amazing grace.

Debbie is hungry for truth. She is hungry for freedom. And this is what we pray. For ourselves and for others.

Giving people “stuff” without loving them up close will do nothing to transform their hearts and minds. And this is what mercy does friends. It goes way beyond steaks and name-brand juices and genuinely laughs and cries with those who we may have very little in common with.

If no one has ever told you………

the Kingdom of God is full of diverse tongues, tribes and people. Mercy knows no bounds and it’s a gift that’s still being offered to anyone who chooses to believe and receive it.

Because He is merciful,


Ps. When Thomas Edison was asked how it felt to fail 1,000 times before the completion of the light bulb, he replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” Let’s be willing to at least give people as many steps as Thomas Edison gave his light bulb!

Why do you think it’s difficult for some people to receive mercy?

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